In picking a career, start with an understanding of what you want to do and what you need to do to have that type of career.
First, answer these questions.
- How well do you relate to other people. If you enjoy helping people, jobs in service industries, health care, hospitality, and other jobs requiring people skills will interest you. If you have no interest in human relations, you may prefer performance jobs: writing, computer programming, sales, or other jobs where the focus is on a task more than interaction with other people.
- Are you a leader, team member, teacher, or worker? Leaders need opportunities with companies that use more people. Team members work well in companies with a focus on planning or innovation. Teachers find jobs in education or training. Workers should focus on jobs where the company expects them to do their job but does not need that they accept responsibility in management.
- What are your interests? Answering this question will help you pick a trade or industry.
- How much do you like risks? If you need security, you may want to work in large institutions or government. If you love risks, self-employment or start-up companies will excite you.
- Where do you want to live? Some jobs exist in abundance in some places. Other jobs only exist in specific locations. If you want to sell surfboards, you should consider living near beaches.
- How important is income? Your focus on income can affect the risks, amount of education or training, and the levels of responsibility you will accept.
Second, answer these questions.
- What skills do you need? When you are planning your career, consider what skills you will need to move through the stages of your career. You can build your skills through volunteer, hobbies, training, and at your workplace.
- What education do you need? Understanding the education can save you a great deal of time and money. For example, if you need specific classes to get a teaching credential, you can include those classes in your curriculum and save returning to complete those courses after you graduate.
- What experience do you need? Similar to planning your career based on the skills that you will need, you can get specific experience through your work and education as well as hobbies and volunteering.
- Where do you need to live? Often people have family or health needs that limit their choices for where they can live.